Marine animals to get respite

Centres planned for injured beached sea creatures.

Mumbai: The state mangrove cell is working on setting up rescue centres at various beaches for marine animals that are washed ashore in critical conditions. The marine rescue centres treat the injured marine animals that end up stranded on shores. This is called ‘beaching’; the centres provide immediate burial to the carcasses washed ashore on the coasts. There have been incidents of beaching incidents of porpoises, sea turtles, dolphins among others.

As of now, there is only one makeshift rescue centre in Dahanu that is known mostly for providing medical aid to injured and stranded sea turtles, which will be upgraded by the mangrove cell this year. “ Mostly during monsoon, you will see cases of injured marine animals washing ashore due to strong wind currents over the sea. Even there are cases of marine animals getting stuck in fishnets. The marine rescue centre needs immediate renovation and more people to cater to the injured turtles.

The mangrove cell will be upgrading the centre and it will run along with a non-profit organisation, Wildlife Conservation and Animal Welfare Association (WCAWA). The work will be completed by this year,” said N. Vasudevan, Additional Principal Conservator of Forest, State Mangrove Cell.

Presently, the mangrove cell has also planned marine rescue centres in Versova beach and Alibaug beach. “The hatchlings of Olive Ridley Turtle found on Versova beach last month was indeed a huge discovery. We are working on a makeshift rescue centre in Versova beach, and have already deployed containers. It should be completed by the end of this month,” added Mr. Vasudevan.

The Mangrove Cell will be utilising funds from the Mangrove and Marine Biodiversity Conservation Foundation of Maharashtra, an autonomous body that provide financial aid to the state government for marine conservation practices.

The project cost estimate for rescue centres in Alibaug and Dahanu are Rs 31 lakh and Rs 25 lakh.

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